The seeds of Syrian rue (Peganum harmala) contain beta-carboline harmala alkaloids, primarily harmine and harmaline, which are both psychoactive and potent short-acting reversible inhibitors of MAO-A. The seeds also contain uterotonic alkaloids, which should be avoided by pregnant women (Ott 1996; Shulgin 1997; Mahmoudian 2002). In addition, the seeds have been shown to have both analgesic and antibacterial properties (Prashanth 1999).
In western culture Peganum harmala seeds are sometimes used as an MAOI in combination with other psychoactive substances, and less commonly as a psychoactive in their own right (Ott 1994; Shulgin, 1997).
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